When you can’t fall back on addiction

One would think I would know this stuff by now, but sometimes I get a reminder.

My wife and I were talking last night. We started discussing addiction, and why it makes sense that people will turn to their addiction during times of stress or down times. It can be alcohol or illegal drugs (alcohol just happens to be a legal drug) or overeating or whatever, for good reasons or bad, the addictive behavior provides a way out of the swamp even briefly. That swamp can be daily stress, deadlines approaching, being sick.

My biggest swamp is when I feel incapable. It can be a new and unknown project at work or diving into a massive problem that hasn’t been clearly defined, but nothing makes me feel incapable like being physically limited. That’s what dawned on me. One of my biggest triggers is incompatible with my biggest addiction. Nothing says “incapable” like being physically incapable, and being sick is just that. It is also when I can’t run to my favorite addiction – working out. If I drank I could down a few. I’d feel even worse, but drinking is physically possible. Right now, I’m coughing every few minutes. I’m physically drained all the damned time. I’m physically incapable of a lot of stuff, and those alarm bells are screaming inside my head.

The perfect response to banish those demons would be a workout, or two, or three. Sure the demons would still be there, but for a little while I’d be able to set them aside. Even a bad workout would “help.” At least it would let me set aside reality for a while.

But no.

So I’m stuck with this major trigger firing in my brain and can’t succumb to the addiction that helps me forget it for at least a few minutes a day.

No answer. Just a bit surprised that I didn’t figure this catch-22 out sooner.

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